Music In the Workplace: “Happy Together” or “Don’t Bring Me Down”?

Now that portable music devices like the iPod and mp3-enabled phones have revolutionized the way people listen to music — more and more people are listening to music (and podcasts like the BusinessCast) at work.

So, where do you stand on listening to music at your work place? Sooner or later, you’ll need to put a ‘stake in the sand’ and define a policy around this practice — particularly, if your team consists of people in their 20s.

Of course, your policy about listening to music at work will vary according to the nature of the work. But, here are some practical questions for you to think through as you pull together guidelines about music at work:

Clients. To what degree does listening to music prevent employees from responding to or interacting with clients?

Deadlines/Concentration. Are there specific times of the day, week or month that require special attention to ensure accurate completion of highly technical and/or deadline-driven tasks?

I.T. Department. Does listening to music cause an unacceptable drain on the I.T. infrastructure – to initiate or support? This can be the case if ‘streaming music’ is being used.

Reputation. What image are you sending to people coming to your place of work when people are seen listening to music at your work place? Is it an image that you’re comfortable with?

Employee Recruitment/Retention. Do your employees look upon listening to work as a ‘right’ or as a privilege?

Management. Do the rules about listening to music at work apply to everyone — including you and your senior management team?

Productivity. Does listening to music at work make for a more pleasant and productive environment?

Finally, whatever your policy, you’ve got to work through how it will be introduced, monitored, measured and maintained.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Make sure you check out the BusinessCast Podcast ‘Blog Review’ Episode where we outline how you can get some practical business – books for free!**


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